Striking writers union reaches deal with Letterman

Fri Dec 28, 2007 6:08pm EST
 
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By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Late-night TV comedian David Letterman has reached a deal with the union representing striking screenwriters that will let his show return to the air next week with his writing staff, the union said on Friday.

The agreement between the Writers Guild of America and Letterman's production company, WorldWide Pants, came as doubts grew that one of Hollywood's premier awards show, the Golden Globes, would go on as usual due to plans by striking writers to picket the event.

A source close to the awards show said the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which presents the Globes, was considering the possibility of canceling the live TV broadcast of the January 13 event so that the ceremony could proceed without WGA protests.

WGA members are barred from working on any TV programs the union considers "struck productions," which include telecasts of awards shows and late-night series.

Moreover, a number of celebrity performers have publicly expressed reservations about crossing picket lines to attend awards shows or to appear as guests on talk shows. The WGA has even said it plans to picket Hollywood's biggest night of all, the Oscars on February 24, unless the strike is settled by then.

One WGA executive, Jeff Hermanson, said the union was organizing a "massive presence" of its members outside the Golden Globe awards, and "we expect to have some of the nominees and award winners on our picket line."

A spokeswoman for the Screen Actors Guild said its informal canvass of Globe nominees found that "the majority of them are indicating that they will not cross picket lines."

The NBC network, which is scheduled to air the show, declined to comment.   Continued...

 
<p>David Letterman at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles September 18, 2005. Letterman has reached a deal with the union representing striking screenwriters that will let his show, return to the air next week with his writing staff, the union said on Friday. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith</p>